Catch up on CAPA’s exclusive Market Analysis pieces

    Each week, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, produces informative, thought provoking and detailed market analysis of the aviation industry. With supporting data included in every analysis, CAPA provides unrivalled and unparalleled intelligence.

    flydubai’s model is network; Gulf Air’s is boutique

    In less than a week CAPA’s Middle East and Africa Aviation Summit kicks off in Dubai, featuring 10 airline CEO speakers. CEOs from five of the region’s leading LCCs will be participating (Air Arabia, fastjet, flyadeal, flydubai and SalamAir), along with four leading FSCs (Gulf Air, Kenya Airways, Jazeera Airways, South African Airways) and one cargo airline (Astral Aviation).

    The first day of the summit, 29-Apr-2019, features a keynote from Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz. The second day of the summit, 30-Apr-2019, features a fireside chat with flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith and a keynote from South African Airways Group CEO Vuyani Jarana.

    Airline CEOs are also participating in panel discussions on LCCs, tourism, airports, connectivity, Africa and the region’s overall outlook. The outlook panel is the first of eight enlightening panel discussions that will take place over the two days and includes Gulf Air CEO Krešimir Kučko.

    To read on, visit flydubai’s model is network; Gulf Air’s is boutique

    United Airlines and Expedia: United’s endgame is unclear

    The airline distribution landscape has changed significantly during the past decade, with airlines often taking aggressive steps to change dynamics with third party ticket sellers in order to gain more favourable commercial terms. One of the more high profile spats occurred between American Airlines and Orbitz, with the airline opting to pull its inventory from the online seller for a period of time in both 2010 and 2014.

    Now United and Expedia appear to be heading toward a severing of ties after tough contract talks and some legal tussles.

    United’s relationship with Expedia has not always been comfortable, but the current skirmish between an airline and a third-party seller is the latest attempt by airlines to rewrite the rules for distributing their inventory.

    To read on, visit United Airlines and Expedia: United’s endgame is unclear

    Virgin Atlantic SWOT: 2019 a pivotal year for the 35 year old airline

    Virgin Atlantic is due to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000, the first of 12 on order, on 1-May-2019 (source: CAPA Fleet Database). The A350s will fulfil Virgin’s aim of operating only twin engine aircraft by 2021, completing the exit of its ageing four engine Boeing 747 and A340 aircraft. This process has been under way over the past four years, with Boeing 787-9s replacing part of the older fleet.

    A more modern fleet should provide benefits in terms of cost efficiency, customer experience and the economic feasibility of new routes. After reporting its fifth net loss in seven years in 2018, Virgin certainly needs to improve its performance.

    Virgin Atlantic reaches its 35th birthday in 2019, in a pivotal year for the UK’s second largest widebody operator. Its majority control by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is set to end with the completion of the sale of a 31% stake to Air France-KLM. In addition, the widening of Virgin’s North Atlantic JV with its 49% shareholder Delta to embrace Air France and KLM is also expected to complete this year. In addition, the regional airline Flybe’s network will be taken under the Virgin Atlantic brand.

    This report considers Virgin Atlantic’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

    To read on, visit Virgin Atlantic SWOT: 2019 a pivotal year for the 35 year old airline

    Cape Verde Islands: government seeks concessionaires for its airports

    The Cabo Verde islands have been attracting tourists in ever-increasing numbers during the past decade, offering a concoction of the true Africa and high-class western-style hotels and resorts. Tourism has supplemented the well established travel to and from the islands by ex-pats but hasn’t really helped the national airline, which has faced mounting problems.

    Just as that that tourism growth has levelled off, a deal is about to be sealed by which Icelandair, with its huge experience of hub and spoke, sixth freedom operations, will take operational control of Cabo Verde Airlines, with a new strategy to build a hub and spoke airline using Cape Verde as a connecting hub between continents.

    That requires cooperation with the airports, of course, and Cape Verde isn’t Iceland, with its islands well spread out and having differing political and social needs.

    While the capital city is on one island, the main commercial centre (for centuries) is on another, and another two islands account for most of the tourism. Even the majority of the police force comes from one island and on another annual tourist visitors outnumber locals by many hundreds to one.

    So it is strange that the government has chosen this moment to announce that the airports will be concessioned out, and by the end of 2019. A concessionaire might offer useful funds that can be used for other purposes, but equally might have different ideas from those of the state operator ASA about how to run its airports.

    This report examines some of the difficulties of putting a concession procedure into place, and one in which firms might be interested.

    To read on, visit Cape Verde Islands: government seeks concessionaires for its airports

    Nashville International airport: strong local economy and solid growth

    Passenger levels at Nashville International airport have soared during the past few years, fuelled in part by job growth supported by a sustained robust economy in the region.

    The airport continues to welcome new services from its largest operator – Southwest Airlines – but during the past couple of years has also secured new flights from the ultra low cost operators Frontier, Allegiant and Sun Country. JetBlue has also begun services from Nashville, and Alaska has also expanded from the airport.

    Perhaps Nashville’s biggest win during the past couple of years is the return of trans Atlantic flights after British Airways launched flights to London Heathrow in 2018. It was a years-long process to secure the service, and the airport is no doubt working to expand its roster of long haul flights.

    To read on, visit Nashville International airport: strong local economy and solid growth